Giving hospitalists a larger clinical footprint

Something you did not know about warm handoffs


I am going to teach you something you do not know. I am almost sure of it.

Bradley Flansbaum DO, MPH, MHM, a hospitalist at Geisinger Health System and member of the SHM Public Policy Committee

Dr. Bradley Flansbaum

Warm handoffs – a term you often hear within the confines of hospital walls when transferring a patient service to service or ward to ward. You do it in-house, but it’s unlikely you make the same connection when you discharge the same patient or transfer them to an outside entity.

But you have to be asleep under a rock not to have heard or read the changes afoot in the skilled nursing facility (SNF) realm, including the rise of the “SNFist. Too much variation in use and spending; plus, we are learning patients do not need 25 days cooped up in a rehabilitation facility when 15 might do with a segue into home health for another 10 or 14. Patients like being home, and it costs a lot less.

Unfortunately, we do not do SNF handoffs in the same manner as ICUs. Our bad, and inpatient providers better adapt.

As hospitals decant and quality measures get an intimate look in the rehab space, SNFs will notice sicker patients, and the staff there will be more mindful of the sign outs and the data they receive. Know a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services value-based program started on October 1 (just like hospitals – penalties and all) and SNFists, whoever they might be – NP/PA/DO/MD – will also require of hospitals a step-up in information transfer, both in quality and timeliness.

Read the full post at hospitalleader.org.

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